Worldwide, more than 4 million people die every year because of smoke from traditional cooking fires. Smoke from traditional cooking fires is the leading cause of respiratory disease and of blindness in the world. Smoke-caused asthma is a leading killer of children worldwide. Fuel efficient, low emission cooking stoves in rural communities can reduce firewood use from traditional stoves by up to 50%, and smoke by more than 70%.
The Improved Cook Stoves for East Africa (ICSEA) is a registered umbrella programme under Uganda Carbon Bureau that can help any eligible low-emissions cookstove supplier to earn carbon credits under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). It covers Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda Burundi, South Africa, Ethiopia and Lesotho. The umbrella programme is ‘stove neutral’ and any eligible stove suppliers from a participating country could join. They receive support for their stove enterprise from the ICSEA Stove Support Facility, and benefit from an efficient and affordable way of earning carbon credits. The ICSEA programme is created to benefit very poor people and to lift entire communities outof poverty. For many of the programmes stove suppliers, money received from the sales of carbon credits would finance the cost ofmaintaining all the stoves on an annual basis, and a portion of the money will be returnedto the communities where they have distributed the stoves.
Participating stove suppliers under ICSEA often deliver multiple benefits to stove users-beyond the reduction in smoke inhalation and reduction in forest degradation and deforestation, the stove is safer than a traditional open fire, and we see social benefits such as employment, community cohesion, empowerment and capacity development. Another key benefit is the reduction in time spent collecting firewood, which is also a reduction in risk to the women and children who often have to move into remote areas to collect the firewood. ICSEA stove suppliers often engage in wider development activities in the areas that they distribute the improved cookstoves, including tree planting, clean water, and HIV counselling and support.
Contribution of the project activity to sustainable development
The PoA will directly contribute to sustainable development as follows. The reduction of consumption of non-renewable biomass will not only reduce GHG emissions but will also reduce deforestation. The users of the ICS will benefit manifold from the project. The improved and controlled combustion will reduce respiratory illness as the indoor-air-pollution will be reduced. The danger of injuries occurring in unsafe kitchen environments such as burns from contact with the stove’s hot surface, scalds from moving pots from a stove that has raised obstructions along its edges, or cuts through contact with sharp edges will decrease. The reduction in time/money spent obtaining fuel wool will improve the people’s lives and give opportunities for better education. The employment opportunities in the stoves industry will result in poverty reduction.
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